The health of 36 wild, free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs
(Lemur catta)at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve was assessed across 2 habitats of varied human impact: a reserve riverine gallery forest, and a degraded mixed dry deciduous and Alluaudia-dominated spiny forest. While there were no statistically significant differences in leukocyte count or differential between habitats, female lemurs in the reserve gallery forest had significantly higher percentages of monocytes and eosinophils than male lemurs in the gallery forest. Lemurs from the degraded spiny habitat had significantly higher mean packed cell volume, hematocrit, hemoglobin, total protein, blood urea nitrogen, chloride, ionized calcium and urine specific gravity than lemurs from the reserve gallery forest. These findings may reflect lower hydration levels in lemurs living in degraded habitat, providing evidence that environmental degradation has identifiable impacts on the physiology and health of wild, free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs living in nearby habitats. Given the greater evidence of human impact in the mixed dry deciduous/spiny forest habitat, a pattern seen throughout southern Madagascar, biomedical markers suggestive of decreased hydration can provide empirical data to inform new conservation policies facilitating the long-term survival of this lemur community.